When we started out with the COVID-19 vaccination programme, our planning assumption was that there would be around 5% vaccine wastage. This is a precautionary approach for worst case scenarios and in line with global best planning practice. To date, our latest management information indicates a wastage rate of around only 1.8%, which is well below this. This is a significant achievement and means Health Boards are maximising the vaccines available to us for the benefit of people in Scotland and minimising wastage.
Guidance to Health Boards on waste management sets out that Boards should wherever possible use ‘leftover’ doses at risk of being wasted to vaccinate others in JCVI priority groups first before using it to vaccinate those who are not currently in priority groups.
Some vaccine wastage is unavoidable for a variety of reasons based on the characteristics of the vaccine, such as logistical issues with cold chain supply or storage failure.
A waste management tool is in place to learn why waste arises so that solutions can be put in place to further minimise waste.
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